NASA is weighing the risk of adding astronauts to the first flight of its new megarocket. NASA's human exploration chief said Friday that his boss and the Trump administration requested the feasibility study. The Space Launch System will be the most powerful rocket ever built when it flies. It's intended for moon and Mars travel. NASA is shooting for an unmanned test flight in late 2018. Putting people on board would delay the mission and require extra money. The space agency's William Gerstenmaier says if adding astronauts to the first flight means delaying beyond 2019, it would probably be better to just stick with the original plan. NASA expects to issue its report in about a month.
Kidnappers are demanding a ransom of 60 million naira (about $200,000) for a German archaeologist and his associate abducted this week from a northern Nigerian village, a worker at the excavation site said. Police special forces and a special investigative team for kidnappings have been searching around the village of Jenjela in the state of Kaduna, where gunmen on Wednesday abducted Professor Peter Breunig and his associate, Johannes Behringer, and walked with them into the bush. Breunig, 65, and Behringer, who is in his 20s, are part of a four-person team from Frankfurt's Goethe University collaborating with the Nigeria's National Commission for Museum and Monuments to recover relics of the Nok culture.
Researchers are testing a technique they say could determine the age of lobsters. Lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. Their ages are typically estimated based on size, as they shed their shells and grow larger as they get older. University of Maine research professor Rick Wahle and graduate student Carl Huntsberger say that method of estimating a lobster's age is inexact. That presents a problem for scientists and fishery managers looking to measure the health of the lobster population. Wahle and Huntsberger are testing a new method based on research by University of New Brunswick scientist Raouf Kilada. Kilada found tree-ring-like microscopic bands within lobsters' stomachs. Huntsberger
It’s not often that the moon and sun cross paths during the Earth’s orbit, but on Sunday skywatchers from the Pacific to the Atlantic were set to get an eyeful of a solar event during the Ring of Fire eclipse. Depending on where spectators are watching, it could appear as if the moon is blocking the early morning sun on Sunday, and for a brief moment, a ring of fire will seem to be surrounding the moon — hence the eclipse’s name. The “greatest duration” of the eclipse was scheduled to occur at 8:16 a.m. EST, during which the ring of fire was expected to be visible passing west of Chile in the South Pacific Ocean for about two minutes.
Humanity will face an energy crisis as the world's population rapidly grows. Nuclear power plants can generate bountiful, carbon-free electricity, but their solid fuel is problematic, and aging reactors are being shut down. A Cold War-era liquid-fueled reactor design could transform thorium — a radioactive waste from mining — into a practically limitless energy source. US engineers proved such a system works during the 1960s. However, the military canceled the project and it was nearly forgotten. Companies and governments are now trying to revive and evolve the design, but development costs, regulations, and nuclear-weapons concerns all pose hurdles. The lifeblood of modern civilization is affordable,
The sky will be illuminated in a “ring of fire” Sunday as the Earth welcomes its first solar eclipse of 2017. An annular eclipse -- which occurs when the moon casts its shadow on the Earth’s surface, will mainly be visible above parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including Chile, Argentina and Angola, according to NASA. “An annular eclipse is the product of almost the same celestial geometry as a total solar eclipse -- that is, from the perspective of some place on Earth, the moon crosses in front of the sun’s center,” NASA explained in a blog. On Feb. 26, a “ring of fire” will be visible in the sky above parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including Chile,... During any type of solar eclipse,
See how Scrub Daddy, Bombas, Lovepop and others have done since they appeared on the show. So for all the people out there, what's the one thing you would tell them to make it happen? There is nothing special about the six of us. We're all selfmade.
Just 1 percent of participants always said that they wanted to know what the future held for them. "In our study, we've found that people would rather decline the powers that made Cassandra famous, in an effort to forgo the suffering that knowing the future may cause, avoid regret and also maintain the enjoyment of suspense that pleasurable events provide," Gigerenzer said. Participants were asked whether, hypothetically, they would want to know about 10 future events, which ranged from serious to mundane.
The 15-member New Jersey Pinelands Commission voted to approve a plan by South Jersey Gas to run the pipeline through the federally protected Pinelands preserve, where development is drastically restricted. It was the most emotionally charged jobs-vs-environment clash in recent New Jersey history, and was closely watched by environmental and energy groups around the nation, particularly with a new presidential administration seen as more supportive of the energy industry. "As a priest, I will pray for you when you stand before the throne of God and you are asked to give an accounting of your stewardship of this special ecological area," said Rev. David Stump, a Catholic priest from Jersey City.
Some engineers have created an interactive map to navigate the overwhelming amount of data created by the Paleobiology Database, a massive collection of information about fossils and related research. The map essentially plots the location of every fossil ever found by scientists, from early mammals to dinosaurs. To search the map, you can click on different geologic eras, the strata that the organism was found in, or search the specific taxonomy you're looking for. The map shows the continents as they are today by default, but when you click on a different geological era they rearrange themselves, showing how dramatically tectonic plates have shift over millions of years. If you aren't looking
As the March for Science in Washington, D.C., grows, so does its criticism. This should be expected. Scientists are encouraged to look at even the most widely accepted statistic or finding and question it. So of course, as soon as the march, scheduled for April 22, was announced, people began to critically examine its message, mission and goals. SEE ALSO: The D.C. march for science will be the most wonderfully nerdy demonstration ever This critical examination has led to a better, more inclusive diversity statement and a clearer focus for the organizers who have seen their grassroots mission explode on social media. But other critiques of the march — which asks scientists and those who support
Aries Holey Doley, what a day! The cosmos has got up a head of steam, Aries, so make sure you keep your wits about you, especially in the work environment and the public arena in general. Developments have burgeoned at a deeper level, so expect the unexpected. Inspired moves score well, leading up to the New Moon, when issues that have been bugging you come to the surface. Rebuild those damaged bridges and make a fresh start. Lucky Number Financial Outlook Compatible Sign Taurus The cosmos focuses on your friendships, associations and income from career, as the energies stack up for the New Moon. There is stress on all forms of finances, particularly in shared ventures, credit, insurance and
Bees are not only very intelligent, they can be taught to play a sport that looks like a mashup of soccer and basketball, rolling tiny yellow balls in exchange for food. While previous research has shown that bees are actually capable of performing complex cognitive tasks, contrary to popular belief, this most recent experiment sought to find out if the insects were capable of learning tasks dissimilar to ones they encounter in the wild, per Science Daily. “We wanted to explore the cognitive limits of bumblebees by testing whether they could use a non-natural object in a task likely never encountered before by any individual in the evolutionary history of bees," Dr. Clint Perry, joint lead author of the paper, said. In order to train the bumblebees, the scientists first used a fake bee on a stick to move the ball.
(CNN)On February 22, 1997, the world learned about a secret project that scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland had been working on. More than seven months earlier, on July 5, 1996, they had aided a Scottish Blackface sheep in giving birth to a Finn Dorset lamb codenamed 6LL3. Using a breakthrough technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer, scientists at Roslin took a nucleus -- the part of the cell that contains most of its genetic information -- from cells within the mammary gland of an adult sheep and stuck it inside an unfertilized egg from which the nucleus had been removed. The lamb was dubbed Dolly, a nod to country music legend Dolly Parton and her famously ample bosom.
During the total solar eclipse that will take place in August, scientists positioned across the U.S. will be scrambling to gather data in the 2 minutes or so that the moon covers the entire disc of the sun. Jay Pasachoff, a professor of astronomy at Williams College in Massachusetts, might be involved in more total-eclipse-related science investigations than anyone else on the planet (not even he can keep track of exactly how many, but this Space.com reporter counts at least seven). Tomorrow, he and some of his collaborators will be in southern Argentina, observing the annular solar eclipse — when about 99 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon — as a practice run for August's main event.
Foam body armor? Even armor-piercing bullets cannot get through this foam. And the foam doesn’t just stop bullets. It destroys them … this foam decimates bullets into dust. North Carolina State University Professor Afsaneh Rabiei led the team that created the amazing foam. This is not ordinary foam like the kind used for shaving, for example. This is a special type of foam called composite metal foams, or CMF. The military and law enforcement could use this kind of foam for advanced, ultra-light body armor to protect personnel. And this research team has other foams up its sleeve that have the potential to keep military and first responders safe from radiation and extreme heat too. Bullet vs.
Many of the top players in technology and automobiles are fervently working towards a world in which autonomous driving vehicles are commonplace. Some current vehicles, like the Tesla Model S, already offer self-driving, autopilot capabilities, but these are a precursor to fully autonomous vehicles that operate with virtually no human intervention. As you’d probably expect, Intel is actively working in the area as well. Massive amounts of processing power and storage are needed to churn through and store the deep learning models that will disseminate data for autonomous vehicles. Today the company posted a short video that gives a glimpse into its Autonomous Driving Lab in Chandler, Arizona.
The thorny skate's population may have declined, but not by enough to justify listing it under the Endangered Species Act, the federal government has ruled. Environmental groups had argued that the bottom-dwelling fish's population loss in the northwest Atlantic Ocean was considerable enough to afford it protections set aside for endangered animals. Documents published in the Federal Register on Friday state that the fisheries service has concluded the thorny skate is "not currently in danger of extinction" in all or a significant piece of its range.
An in-depth computational analysis of genetic variants implicated in both schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh points to eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to one of the disorders could place individuals at lower risk for the other, according to the results of a study published today in the journal npj Schizophrenia. "There is a wealth of genomic data on both schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis. Analyzing it jointly with known protein interaction information could provide invaluable clues to the relationship between the diseases and also shed light on their shared roots," said Madhavi Ganapathiraju Ph.D., associate professor of
The strangest place writer Mark O’Connell has ever been to is the Alcor Life Extension Foundation — where dead bodies are preserved in tanks filled with nitrogen, in case they can be revived with future technology. The nonfiction book delves into the world of transhumanists, or people who want to transcend the limits of the human body using technology. Transhumanists have been around since at least the 1980s, but have become more visible in the past decade as technology advances have made these ideas seem more feasible and less like sci-fi.
Dan Santi could have taken his biotech startup, which has an innovative technology for keeping drugs in the body longer, anywhere in the Bay Area. He settled on Mission Bay. Over the past five years in the CoLaborator incubator inside Bayer AG's Mission Bay outpost, Santi’s ProLynx LLC struck collaborations with Bayer and other drug companies that set the stage for taking its first drug into human clinical trials. Now Bayer is expanding its incubator space from 6,000 square feet to 36,000 square feet, hoping to snare more ProLynx-like companies along the way. The expansion could help a lot of startups, especially with ties to the University of California, San Francisco, whose Mission Bay campus
Small satellites tens of thousands of miles above Earth may help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa escape poverty and food insecurity. Using high-resolution images, researchers from Stanford University have been able to measure and estimate crop yields with the goal to improve agricultural productivity in the region. Earth-observing satellites have been used for decades, but recent advancements have enabled smaller, cheaper satellites to make more precise measurements of regions around the world.
February 25, 2017 —Total solar eclipses only happen once every year or two, and when they do they're over in a flash. In order not to waste a second of the one coming this summer, which will cover a broad swath of the continental United States, scientists are practicing on an annular eclipse Sunday in Argentina. The August eclipse is sure to set social media ablaze, and scientists are excited for the research opportunities the rare conditions represent. Eclipses have a rich history of contributing to scientific discovery, even providing the first proof of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The stars (and other heavenly bodies) will align on August 21, when the full moon passes directly